BARBAROS BAY: On a sunny morning I meet Deniz, the holistic health therapist at the Spa of the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay in Bodrum. We are sitting in the spacious, almost clerical lounge area of the hotel near the infinity pool, a light breeze is moving the linen veil curtains from high above the ceiling and the comfortable lounge beds with their colorful cushions invite me to lay back and relax. I am listening to the soft voice of this kind Turkish woman who seems to be in complete balance with herself and the world around her.
IRMA: Good morning, Deniz. How was your morning so far?
DENIZ: Thank you, very good. I woke up around 8.30 and enjoyed my daily breakfast, which is a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice with some Spirulina and some fresh fruit, normally a banana. I am a vegetarian, so I need Spirulina as it has lots of essential amino acids, iron, calcium and magnesium.
IRMA: This is not very much as you work with your full body strength during the day.
DENIZ: Watsu does not take the physical strength from me because the water helps me to flow and move the person in the water. The water takes the pain and stress from the treated person and is neutralizing both of our bodies at the same time.
IRMA: Can you explain watsu to me?
DENIZ: Watsu means water shiatsu. I take your weightless body on a journey of total release and relaxation. As fluid movements, gentle stretches, rotations and acupressure are applied, joints and muscles let go of pain and tension. Seaweed-like moves release the spine and the mind quiets into a deep, almost meditative, state of relaxation.
IRMA: This sounds wonderful, almost like a baby floating in a mother’s womb.
DENIZ: Exactly. In some people it brings out very strong emotional feelings. They start crying for example or get reminded of something which has happened in their past and changed their lives or it just makes them very happy and comfortable.
IRMA. Don’t you get cold in the water?
DENIZ: No, because the temperature is 35 degrees Celsius and your entire body is covered by the warm water. Just your eyes and nose are out of the water.
IRMA: How did you decide to work as a watsu therapist?
DENIZ: It is funny but my name means water lover in Turkish. And people always thought I changed my name, which I did not. But I have truly loved the water from the beginning.
IRMA: What is the gain after a treatment?
DENIZ: Watsu transforms your emotions and your spirit. Nowadays we tempt to ignore ourselves, our bodies and we do not realize changes so much. In the water all of a sudden we are very close to ourselves. We hear our breath and we feel the water on our skin. We concentrate on our mind as our bodies are completely weightless.
MY TREATMENT IS ABOUT TO BEGIN: NOW, I AM VERY CURIOUS TO GO INTO THE WARM WATER WITH DENIZ. I FOLLOW HER INTO A BEAUTIFUL ROOM WIH A SMALL POOL SURROUNDED BY OPEN WINDOWS.
I TAKE A QUICK SHOWER BEVOR ENTERING THE WARM POOL AND ALREADY I FEEL LIKE BEING IN A DIFFERENT ATMOSPHERE. DENIZ PUTS SOME STABILIZERS ON MY LEGS SO THAT THEY WILL FLOAT ABOVE THE WATER SURFACE. I START TO FLOAT AND CLOSE MY EYES. AFTER A SHORT WHILE I AM IN A STATE OF COMPLETE RELAXATION, FEELING LIKE A BABY IN A MOTHER’S WOMB. DENIZ PUSHES ME, MOVES ME PULLS ME VERY SOFTLY THROUGH THE WATER. I LOOSE MY ORIENTATION, THE FEELING OF SPACE. I JUST FEEL MY EXTREMLY LIGHT BODY AND THE WATER. I AM VERY HAPPY.
After the treatment.
IRMA: Fantastic! I feel like a light piece of linen, even when I walk I have the feeling not to touch the floor. This is really an amazing experience.
DENIZ: You will feel as if you had slept for 10 hours, totally relaxed.
IRMA: I can see that.
Do you have any holistic suggestion of a special herb or something which I can take home with me from Turkey?
DENIZ: Yes I have two wonderful products which are herbal, plant medicine and very effective.
One is called Rrifalla, you get it in capsules and if you take it at night it helps the body to detox during your sleep and aids digestion.
The other one is Hayat tohumu, which is a seed. You will make three cups of tea with each time one teaspoon of the seeds during the day. It will balance your entire hormonal system which is especially important for women.
IRMA: And where can I get this?
DENIZ: In any herbal shop in Turkey.
IRMA: Thank you, Deniz, for making me more aware of my body and taking good care of myself.